Between the hours of 9 PM last night and 6 AM this morning, a person or group of persons had painted anarchist and satanic symbols on the doors of St. Joseph Church in New Haven. This follows an apparent trend of desecrating Catholic spaces throughout the nation, as evidenced by incidents in Chattanooga, Queens, Boston, Sacramento, and Ocala. The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ. However, our cherished Catholic faith has survived for 2,000 years in the faces of many different oppressors, and it is not about to yield now. Therefore, we remain unafraid and resolute in our faith, and we will pray for a conversion of the hearts of those who wish to terrorize us.

Today, even in the midst of anti-Christian sentiment and actions, however, we do not answer hate with hate. To the contrary, these attacks make our love and unity stronger, and our prayers ever more steadfast. For as we learn in John’s Gospel, we cannot truly love God if we do not love our brother.

Let us pray today to Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Her feast day for deliverance from our distress over these attacks, and let us look to Jesus Christ in His perfection as a model for love in a sometimes unloving world.